Round Up of Committee Discussions


Advancing the Consultancy professionGraham Kennedy, IC lead for London and South East Region, presented a paper to the Committee looking at the development of the profession of consultancy, and providing initial thoughts on ‘energising the profession’.  Reference was made to current barriers in terms of inconsistent standards, lack of clear CPD pathways, and missed opportunities to leverage third party connections in academia, commercial business and Government.  The key goals should be seen as raising the profile of the profession, extolling the benefits that Consultants bring; and championing what ‘exceptional consulting’ looks like.

The three standard bearers for the profession are seen as the IC (individuals and small firms), MCA (large firms) and the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants (individuals wishing to give something back, eg through mentoring). 

During discussion, there was consensus on the need to agree what ‘professionalism’ looks like.  This is the first step, before awareness raising and promotion can take place.  There was also discussion on the merits of broadening the scope to embrace and engage consultants within other professions, such as IT.  A key issue for IC at the current time is the size of its membership, and the fact that membership is declining year on year.  The benefits of belonging need to be made more evident and better explained.  The aim has to be to build a much larger community, and continue to forge partnership links wherever appropriate. 

Members agreed that it was good to explore these issues in principle; however, concerted action could not really get going until we know the outcome of the Chartered Management Consultant submission.  It is important, nevertheless, to have these debates and forge connections wherever appropriate; and collaboration and partnership working should be seen as the way forward.  Conversations must certainly be triggered across the Regions.  A further agreed step is to compile a list of additional ‘standard bearers’ and those with an interest in the consultancy arena, whether this be other professional bodies, Local Enterprise Partnership and SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative).

Chartered Management Consultant and the Consultancy Community within the Institute – Whilst the Privy Council decision on ChMC is awaited, the Committee welcomed the mapping work triggered by the Steering Board in terms of existing competency frameworks and qualifications in consultancy.  Thought leadership activity is also seen as important and a list of research topics will be compiled.

Management Consultant Development Network – An update was provided on this new LinkedIn network, aimed at the younger consultancy audience.  Its purpose is to engage in debate on the career value of consultants, and promote and explain career pathways, including ChMC.  The network currently has 80 members, but there is as yet limited engagement.  The initiative will continue for a further period of time and it was agreed to link the IC Regional Champions into the debate and promote the group via IC newsletters. 

Constantinus International Award – One nomination has been put forward as the UK entrant for the prestigious Constantinus International Award.  The result will be announced in October.


Board elections – The Committee met with Simon Ibson, who had conducted competency assessment interviews with seven Board candidates.  Having reviewed the competency scores and the various specialist backgrounds of the candidates, the Committee agreed a shortlist of four candidates to go forward to the contested election.

President Elect – The Committee agreed a recommendation to the Board for appointment as President Elect.  The formal announcement will be made at the AGM in September.

Diversity across the CommitteesThis was an issue raised at the Committee engagement event on 16 June.  Diversity across the Committees, including cultural diversity, must be seen as a key issue, with implications for the reputation of CMI if not given due prominence.  This will be given further consideration.

Vote of thanks to Committee Chair – A vote of thanks was made to Peter Ayliffe, Immediate Past President, who was coming to the end of this term as Committee Chair.

WiM ADVISORY COMMITTEE – engagement event with Regional Champions - 28 June

WiM Committee members and WiM Regional Champions met together at a workshop hosted by Bella Vuillermoz at meeting facilities at Sky in West London, to discuss how to bring CMI Women’s strategic objectives to life through developing media messaging.  The workshop gave everyone a chance to discuss the strategic goals and how best to articulate them via a communications campaign.  Petra Wilton provided an overview of work streams that the WiM Committee members had previously agreed on, namely:

  • Blueprint for balance
  • Unlocking potential
  • Men as agents of change

In a round table session, Tristan Garrick (Head of PR) and Rebecca Davis (PR Officer) provided guidance on how to create media messages that resonate with the press.  Our PR agency, Good Relations, led a media training session, giving an opportunity for those not experienced in giving media interviews to learn tips in terms of interview skills, to ensure that they get their messages across clearly.  Feedback from the event has been extremely positive. 

A major relaunch for WiM is planned for October this year.  This will focus on planned initiatives including:

  • Blueprint for Balance - a free-to-access online tool that includes a benchmarking tool and collates industry best practice and case studies (as well as identifying quick-wins) to help companies improve their gender balance.  It will be structured around a simple framework of key themes, with several tiers of increasing detail, allowing flexibility to meet the needs of different organisations (large organisations, SMEs, etc)

  • A targeted marketing campaign leading up to International Women’s day in 2017, encouraging women to take responsibility for their development, to include a mix of testimonials from women who have achieved Chartered Manager status and those who are currently studying/applying to become chartered.


Review Risk Register- This is reviewed at each meeting, and a recurring theme is an increase in plagiarism incidents

Statements of Compliance - The statement of compliance to the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has been submitted, having been signed off by the Committee and Board of Trustees.. The Ofqual and Qualifications Wales statements are due by the end of September.

International HE Centre Application Process – As we are now contracting directly with overseas centres that sit outside the usual model of satellite centres of UK centres, the Committee is ensuring that a robust pre-approval centre process in place.


This meeting comprised a business meeting for the Complaints and Investigations Committee (CIC), and a session with current and new members of the Investigation Panel (IP).

A successful recruitment campaign has been carried out, bringing 5 new members onto the IP.  Members therefore joined this CIC meeting as part of their induction programme.  The result of the recent recruitment is a greatly strengthened IP, easing the pressure on existing members in the light of the number of concurrent member complaints needing to be dealt with.

Policy on lapsed membership – This is an issue which CIC has grappled with for some time: when membership lapses partway through an investigation and whether or not to continue the investigation.  Members agreed in principle that an investigation cannot continue into a, by then, non-member.  However, CIC will have discretion in each case.

Case studies and trends – Once the current batch of 5 investigations are completed and the outcomes known, the CIC will develop anonymised case studies for publication in newsletters and Professional Manager.  They will also look at case trends – one particular trend already identified is the growing number of cases of alleged plagiarism or false claims to qualifications.  These are particularly coming to light from profile postings on social media.

Review of investigation report template – As part of its ongoing work to review complaint processes, the CIC focused at this meeting on the template for investigation reports, making minor amendments to be communicate to IP members for their action.

Meeting of Members of Board of Trustees and Regional/Devolved Nation Advisory Committee - 13 July

This annual get together focused on implications of Apprenticeships, HE, ChMC and WiM strategies on regional member engagement.  Key issues are:

.1         HE: continuing growth of the successful and scalable partnerships model with Business Schools, and with a growing emphasis on enrichment of Student experiences and CMI engagement, through events, masterclasses, webinars, on-site presentations, awards and prizes

.2         Apprenticeships: awareness raising of the programmes available, and making connections with current and future delivery partners across HE, FE and employers; engagement programmes with Apprentices

Insights are that:

.1         Studying members and apprentices are looking for role models and mentors.

.2         The Student Ambassador scheme launched in a number of Regions is seen as a key element of the engagement strategy and efforts have to be made to roll this out around the Regions/Devolved Nations. 

.3         Networks and employer and other stakeholder links must be leveraged across the Regions, to drive the Apprenticeship programme in particular. 

.4         Current strategic initiatives will significantly shift the membership profile in the coming years, with younger cohorts of members coming through; membership engagement has to evolve to reflect this.

.5         Messages have to be clear as to why younger managers should convert to, and remain in, full membership.  They have to be given good reasons as to why they should bear the cost of CMI membership.  Messages should be along the lines of: ‘Managers want to be chartered because ….’; Employers want to hire Chartered Managers because ….’.

.6         A key issue is to differentiate the CMI offer from that of peer and similar organisations.  Mentoring is seen as the starting point in this respect.

.7         The clear challenge is to mobilise Regional Board members, bearing in mind that they are volunteers balancing their CMI activity with full-time employment.  Ways to achieve this are to be crystal clear and focused as to the role members are and should be playing, and to ensure streamlined and effective mechanisms and processes that enable them to fulfil the role as easily and effortlessly as possible.

.8         University alumni groups are powerful networks to connect with; likewise Student Union leads and the NUS.

The consensus from this whole discussion is action on:

.1         rolling out the Student Ambassador programme across the Regions/Devolved Nations;

.2         establishing Student Ambassador sub-groups;

.3         exploring the concept of ‘Young CMI’, as a ‘younger managers’ platform’;

.4         seeking to engage with cohorts of younger managers in employers;

.5         leveraging networks and contacts to raise awareness of the new style Apprenticeship programme;

.6         ensuring that business planning in October/November 2016 for the next financial year incorporates plans across all of these activities, as well as taking into account thought leadership and campaign agenda.


Year end audit - This is the key meeting of the year when our Auditor presented the outcomes of the statutory audit.  Members welcomed the fact that an unqualified audit report was anticipated.  This was subject to sight of the final version of the annual report.

Income recognition had been identified as a significant item at the audit planning stage, with particular respect to the multi-year partnership deals now being entered into with University Business Schools as part of our HE strategy.  There is no set guidance on this within accounting standards and so the review in this area has been to ensure an approach that is reasonable and consistent and acknowledges that there are significant resources expended in setting up these contracts.  The agreed approach is to recognise all income due in year one of a contract at the outset with the remaining income phased over the length of the contract term.

The further issue exercising the Auditors and finance team has been that these are the first set of accounts drawn up to reflect application of the revised SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) and FRS 102, the new Reporting Standard for Charities.  This has required significant amounts of work, not helped by the fact that application of the SORP and FRS remain unclear in a number of areas, such as the requirement for a separate SOFA and cashflow statement for the parent entity. 

Endorsing the income recognition approach reflected in this year’s financial figures, the Committee will keep this policy under close review.

Draft annual accounts – It was noted in particular this year that the financial review section of the report contains additional detail on expenditure on reserves, including plans for investment in the apprenticeship offer.  Additional detail is also required in the body of the annual report on key performance indicators and forward plans.  The Committee unanimously agreed to recommend to the Board of Trustees that the audited accounts of the Institute for 2015/16 be approved for publication to members.

Director’s report and accounts for CMI Enterprises Ltd - The accounts of CMI Enterprises Ltd are approved separately and provided to the Committee for its information.  The CMIE accounts are consolidated within those of the CMI.  The CMIE trading profit of £60,749 is transferred to the Institute under gift aid.

Review of Risk Management Register – The Committee received the updated version of the Corporate Risk Management Register, including a separate register reflecting the EU referendum result, and the potential risks to income arising from the UK’s prospective EU exit.  At this stage, on the basis of conversations with key partners including Business Schools, business appears to be proceeding as usual, with partnership deals continuing to move forward towards signature.  It was noted that an issue under review within Government is the Apprenticeship Levy, but support for the Apprenticeship programme in itself does not appear to be in jeopardy.  The Committee welcomed the fact that a cost mitigation exercise has been undertaken, including a review of recruitment plans and an assessment of discretionary spend.  Given the strong financial performance to date, coming close to aspirational targets, there is a financial buffer to mitigate any downturn, should any of the risks identified in relation to the EU exit become more of a reality.


‘CMI Companions on Campus’ – This is a new initiative enabling Companions to speak on a range of leadership topics at events hosted by our University partners.  The model being used is that of the ‘Speakers for Schools’ programme, in which a number of our Companions are involved.  A key outcome of this programme is increased engagement from Companions, Students and Universities.

Companion recruitment and engagement programme – Given the London-centric focus for recent Companion candidates, the focus is moving out to the regions, the first target areas being East and West Midlands.

There is also agreement that, once Companions are signed up, they need to be engaged as soon as possible.  Activities to support this will now be developed.

2017 Gold Medal Award – Nominations for this year’s Gold Medal and Lifetime Achievement Award were considered and recommendations put to the Board of Trustees.  The formal announcement on the award winners will be made as soon as the awards have been accepted and a date set (for spring 2017) for the President’s Dinner at which the awards will be presented.